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Why not name EU basketball court after Bill Stricker?
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How come Lathrop High can have two names on an athletic facility honoring individuals but East Union High can’t?
It is a question that a list of 300 and growing East Union High alumni are asking after the family of Peter Dalben for whom the Lancers’ main gym is named successfully squashed an effort to name the basketball court after long-time basketball coach Bill Stricker.
Family members last year expressed displeasure with East Union administrators that they’d even consider such a thing eluding it would somehow tarnish Pete Dalben’s contributions and memory.
Given that it takes a community to make a school succeed and not just one individual it is an interesting position to stake out.
Lathrop High named its football field after Bennie Gatto — a longtime boosters of East Union and Lathrop high schools as well as Lathrop community activist with a long list of selfless endeavors. The actual football stadium is known as Paul Wiggin Stadium. Wiggins was raised in Lathrop and went on to be a standout football player at Manteca High and then Stanford University before playing and coaching in the NFL. He also was the Stanford coach during the Big Game on Nov. 20. 1982 when Cal scored on five lateral passes as time ran out with the last catch made in the middle of the Stanford band that had erroneously taken the field.
There are even existing school facilities that have dual names and not simply naming the overall gym after one person and the court after another.
The Shasta School multi-purpose building honors two previous principals – William “Bill” Pinto and Richard “Rick” Mello.
The actual official name is “The Pinto-Mello Gymnasium: Referred to as The Hornets’ Nest.”
In case anyone that wants to see Stricker’s name applied to the East Union High basketball court would like to know, there is a formal process to make such a request and it involves approaching the Manteca Unified School District Board of Trustees.
It starts with the formation of a committee which gets the blessings from the Manteca Unified School board. The naming committee’s task is to receive suggestions or nominees for the specific school area that needs to be christened. The committee members then hold discussion meetings based on an established board policy and administrative regulation. After that, committee members make a couple of recommendations which are then presented to the board for consideration and action.

Speaking of
names & schools
While on the subject of schools and names, it may not be too surprising that Manteca High has the most names attached to its facilities given that the campus is almost a century old.
A rundown of the Manteca High names are as follows:
uWalker Vick Field House – named after the school’s longtime athletic director and coach.
uDawson Center which refers to the quad area and the school cafeteria – named after Paul Dawson who served as the Dean of Boys in the 1960s to 1970s and was described as “very well liked.”
uGus Schmiedt Field – the school’s football stadium named in honor of the former longtime member of the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees who also led community volunteers to fashion the initial stadium that ended up carrying his name..
uDorothy Mulvihill Performing Arts Theatre – previously known as Manteca High’s Speech Arts Building, it officially was named after the longtime drama and English teacher when she retired.
uAddie Hall – refers to the Band Room and honors the memory of the daughter of Frances Darling and her late husband Leroy Darling who was Manteca High’s beloved band director for many years. Under his leadership, the Buffalo Band put not just their school but Manteca on the map with major out-of-town award-winning performances that included such venues as the traditional and popular Macy’s Parade. Their daughter, Addie, was a student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she was a top majorette and was known as “The Golden Girl” when she died.
uBrasmer Library – named after the Ed Brasmer who served as principal of the school for many years.
uWinter Gym – named after Dr. Robert Winter who volunteered many of his hours as a medical doctor for the school’s football players.
uSam Ousley Conference Room – located in the Ed Brasmer Library honors Manteca High’s longtime librarian.
uPennebaker Field – the school’s softball field, is in honor of the owners of the Pennebaker Apartments in Manteca.
uWinter Pool — The swimming pool honors Stephen Winter who held various positions at the campus before retiring as principal. As a student he competed for the Buffaloes in the swimming pool and was the first former Manteca High student to become a Manteca High principal.
uMcCreath Way — A breezeway named after former principal Doug McCreath who held various positions at the school before becoming  the principal.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email